New US$3.1 million China-US programme to support arts, humanities and social sciences scholars

US-China Scholars Programme
"Academic exchange programs are a cornerstone of public diplomacy and are especially effective during challenging geopolitical periods.” Source: Ed Jones/AFP

Chiense and American scholars can now apply for funding through the US-China Scholars Programme to conduct research, study or teach arts, humanities and social sciences in the two countries during the 2021-22 academic year. The Institute of International Education (IIE) announced the US$3.1 million programme on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2021, made possible by donations from five private foundations: Carnegie Corporation of New York*, Ford Foundation, Harvard-Yenching Institute, Henry Luce Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Administered by IIE, it will support 48 faculty and students.

Applications will open from March 1 to April 15, 2021. The fellowship programme will start in fall 2021, spanning between five to ten months. “Our organisations have championed exchanges and dialogue between the peoples of China and the US for decades,” a statement by the five foundation says. “People-to-people exchanges between these countries have resulted in scientific and medical collaboration; greater awareness of Chinese and American arts, cultures, histories and societies; and diplomatic breakthroughs when formal dialogues were constrained. The two countries’ rich scholarly traditions and world-class universities make such achievements possible.”

US-China Scholars Programme

The US$3.1 million US-China Scholars Programme will support faculty and students to conduct research, study or teach abroad. Source: Philippe Lopez/AFP

IIE is a global not-for-profit that creates and implements international education, research, scholarship, study abroad, workforce training and leadership development programmes. It has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,450 member institutions.

The announcement comes as governments suspect academic exchange programmes. “Academic exchange programmes are a cornerstone of public diplomacy and are especially effective during challenging geopolitical periods,” the statement adds. “It is our hope that the fellowship – and more importantly the academic collaboration, teaching, research and exchange it facilitates – will inspire the resumption of such government-supported programmes for the future. Our world, and the peoples of China and the US, need this opportunity for cooperation more than ever.”

More than 442,000 US students participated in learning overseas in the 2018-19 academic year. The US hosted over one million international students during the 2019-20 academic year, representing 5.5% of all students in US higher education. Research shows these students are more likely to graduate and score higher GPAs than their peers who did not study abroad.

For more information about the US-China Scholars Programme, including application link, program description, eligibility requirements and benefits, click here.